Sky Bet TV advert banned for suggesting keen sports fans are more likely to be better gamblers

A television advert for Sky Bet has been banned for suggesting that those with a knowledge of sports were more likely to gamble successfully.

By Gavin Ledwith, Digital Specialist
Wednesday, 13 March, 2019, 11:30
A Sky Bet TV advert has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.

The ad, seen in August, was narrated by Hartlepool-born football presenter Jeff Stelling, who said: "Spark your sports brain and roll all the possibilities into one bet. Three red cards, seven corners, five goals: let's price that up ... How big is your sports noggin?"

A large screen behind the presenter featured various odds and statistics as well as a graphic of brain waves emanating from his head.

Two viewers complained that the ad implied that those with a good knowledge of sports were likely to experience gambling success.

Sky Bet said the ad made no reference to knowledge increasing someone's chances of winning but added that it was accepted that knowledge of a specific sport would on the whole increase a consumer's chances of success.

Upholding the complaints, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the ad placed strong emphasis on the role of sports knowledge in determining betting success.

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The ASA said: "We acknowledged it was the case that those with knowledge of a particular sport may be more likely to experience success when betting.

"However, we considered that the ad gave an erroneous perception of the extent of a gambler's control over betting success, by placing undue emphasis on the role of sports knowledge.

"We considered that this gave consumers an unrealistic and exaggerated perception of the level of control they would have over the outcome of a bet and that could lead to irresponsible gambling behaviour. We therefore concluded that the ad breached the Code."

It ruled that the ad must not be broadcast again in the form complained about, adding: "We told Sky Bet to ensure in future that their ads did not condone or encourage gambling behaviour that was socially irresponsible, for example by creating an unrealistic perception of the level of control consumers would have over betting success."